Most of Indian farmer discrimination settlement goes unspent
Posted: Friday, April 26, 2013
Less than half of the $760 million Keepseagle settlement
has been distributed to Indian farmers and ranchers, The New York Times reports.
The Obama administration reached the settlement to resolve claims of discrimination at the Department of Agriculture
It included $680 million in direct payments to Indian farmers and ranchers and a $80 million loan forgiveness fund.
But only around $300 million has gone to Indian farmers and ranchers. Some 4,400 filed claims and payments went to 3,600, the Times reports.
That leaves around $380 million that the plaintiffs' lawyers are supposed to share with Indian farmer organizations. But no groups have been chosen, more than two years after the settlement was announced and more than a year after the deadline to file claims passed, the Times reports.
“Everybody is looking at this money on the table and saying, ‘Give me some because I am a good guy,’" Ross Racine, the director of the Intertribal Agricultural Council
, told the Times.
The plaintiffs' lawyers were paid $60.8 million for handling the case, which was filed in 1999. So that presumably means around $320 million is available for Indian organizations.
Get the Story:
Federal Spigot Flows as Farmers Claim Discrimination
(The New York Times 4/26)
• Plaintiffs Press
| Notice Form
| Loan Debt
• Native American
Farmers and Ranchers Council
Cherokee Nation farmers receive Keepseagle settlement funds
Payments from $760M
Keepseagle settlement being distributed
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